Systems integration as a total project solution
2nd Quarter 2017, News & events
SEW-Eurodrive is embracing system integration as a new area of differentiation in order to boost the uptake of its products in the marketplace. This will also help promote the OEM as a total solutions provider for entire project lifecycles. The aim is to bring together companies like SEW-Eurodrive that supply automation components and technology with system integrators that tackle entire projects. The key is that products from different suppliers can be used in a single system or project.
“Although we would like to supply SEW-Eurodrive products as far as possible, there may be a requirement for something we do not supply, such as a PLC or pneumatic component,” explains mechatronics sales engineer, Hendri Oosthuizen. National sales manager, Norman Maleka adds that the total solution is based on SEW-Eurodrive technology, but includes any additional requirements. The system integrator is essentially tasked to integrate all of these disparate elements in order to be able to present the end user with a complete solution.
System integration is an important market for the OEM, as integrators typically have exposure to a range of client applications and requirements. “The more comfortable they are with integrating our products, the more likely they are to go out there and promote our products to end-users as integral components of the overall system,” Maleka notes.
The opportunities for system integration run the gamut from mining to automation to food and beverage. “For example, if an end-user wants to set up a typical process or assembly line, the system integrator will supply all of the necessary products that meet these specific requirements. The end result is a total solution that integrates the mechanical, electrical and data needs,” Oosthuizen continues.
Launched this year, SEW-Eurodrive’s systems integration push is an attempt to ‘shake hands’ with potential customers and introduce them to the wide range of technology and solutions available. “Our aim is to establish partnerships with companies specialising in automation, and to sell our extensive range of electronic and automation components to them. Not only will this help these companies in meeting the diverse daily needs of their own end-users, it will also build confidence in the broader marketplace about SEW-Eurodrive’s competency and expertise in this arena,” Maleka says.
He adds that these constitute a two-way partnership. “We may receive an enquiry on a large project that requires some mechanical components that do not necessarily form part of our own product range. We would then be able to partner with a specific system integrator in supplying the automation side. While SEW-Eurodrive has a solid reputation as a gearbox and drives supplier, our business approach this year is to focus much more on our extensive electronics product ranges. Not a lot of people in the industry know about this particular portfolio of ours, which we would like to promote to the point of it becoming the standard option across the board.”
The OEM has already staged a well-received Open Day at its Johannesburg facility, where system integrators were introduced to the company’s extensive automation and electronics product ranges. The aim was to show them exactly what SEW-Eurodrive is about, its investment in infrastructure, its training focus with the Drive Academy, as well as the general competence and expertise that underpins every single one of its products. Open Days will be rolled out at all SEW-Eurodrive branches as well, in order to reach as many system integrators as possible countrywide. These will include Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit, and Port Elizabeth. Attendance at any of the Open Days is free of charge.
In terms of specific support offered to system integrators, Oosthuizen explains that SEW-Eurodrive can visit potential customers in order to determine how best to meet their precise requirements. Following this, they will be provided with a complete overview of SEW-Eurodrive’s products, and will be shown how they can be assisted in the most cost-effective and innovative manner possible, in conjunction with the system integrator. “It is important to note that we do not charge our customers to become system integrators. The enabling software that we provide in this regard is free to use, with no annual licence fees,” concludes Oosthuizen.
For more information contact Jana Klut, SEW-Eurodrive, +27 (0)11 248 7161, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sew.co.za